Cato — Michael Tanner: Christie the Prophet


On the National Review online site and the Cato Institute op-ed sites, Michael Tanner discusses Chris Christie’s remarks regarding American dependence on government. There is much to agree with here. But Tanner also writes:

In 1965, just 22 percent of all federal spending was transfer payments. Today it has doubled to 44 percent…. In 1965, transfer payments from the federal government made up less than 10 percent of wages and salaries. As recently as 2000, that percentage was just 21 percent. Today, transfer payments are more than a third of salary and wages.

Michael, please explain why “just” 10% or 20% or 21% was okay in 1965 or 2000? Was it not already abundantly clear even in 1965 that the US had crossed the peak of the slippery slope?

The welfare state started with small programs targeted toward a small number of genuinely needy people.

Michael, please explain why the genuinely needy, no matter how small in number, have a claim on resources coerced from taxpayers?

You are surely in a position to understand that compassionate conservatism, of course with other people’s money, not only leads to the slippery slope of an unconstrained majority-rule democracy, but also destroys whatever virtue may reside in compassion.

Think about it.

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